A third petition regarding overnight parking along Dallas Road has been started by a James Bay resident.
“As a resident of James Bay for over five years, and someone born and raised in Victoria, I’ve never had an issue with the overnight parkers,” writes petition author Brendan Innis. “There are plenty of things in James Bay that are a nuisance…but overnight parkers have never caused a problem that I’ve seen.”
Innis’ petition is in response to one that was launched by Dallas Road resident Janice Williams to “limit abuse of Dallas Road parking.”
Williams told Black Press Media she has lived along Dallas Road for 11 years and has seen it deteriorate recently, pointing to overnight and long-term campers as the cause.
The campers live there despite the lack of proper facilities or waste management. Williams listed waste and security as some of her concerns.
After Williams’ petition was launched, another one was created by Dallas Road van-dweller Jasper Sunshine to oppose the first petition.
Sunshine said his petition is about voicing their “right to an alternate lifestyle” and follows an online movement called “van life.” He said he lives in a renovated cube van for affordability, but noted many in the community choose to live in vans and RVs to live a downsized, transient lifestyle.
In Innis’ petition, he brings up the issue of affordable housing in Victoria.
“I would like it if everyone could have an affordable, permanent residence in the City of Victoria, but I recognize that the problems of rental affordability and availability make this impossible,” Innis says. “The answer to this problem is not to shove it off to another municipality by ‘moving them out.’”
While living in a van isn’t illegal, the City of Victoria has bylaws that limit overnight parking in certain areas. The City has said it will introduce “limited restricted parking” on Dallas Road and enhance education and enforcement of overnight parking bylaws.
-With files from Nina Grossman